A wildly original, cross-country novel that subverts a long tradition of family narratives and casts new light on the mythologies–national, individual, and collective–that drive and define us.
Moving from Seattle’s underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, Vanessa Veselka spins a tale with boundless verve, linguistic vitality, and undeniable tenderness.
“Astonishing depth and scope . . . Veselka blends fascinating details of seamanship, cab driving, and boot camp with intimate, spot-on descriptions of contemporary American poverty . . . This gritty and unsentimental work is compassionate, funny, and deeply human.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“This is a novel that feels like hitchhiking: If you relate to the idea of desperate people doing desperate things for reasons only partly clear to themselves, you will find it thrilling.”
—Molly Young, Vulture
“The Great Offshore Grounds reminded me of what a great novel can do—Veselka’s seafaring epic has the forward momentum of a grand adventure and the spiraling depth of a new myth…darkly hilarious, astral, cerebral, suspenseful, warm-blooded, divine.”
—Karen Russell, author of Orange World
“Vanessa Veselka is an expert portraitist of the forgotten and left behind, people struggling to make ends meet, broke and underemployed, people of deep humanity and shallow finances trying to find their place in dysfunctional America. The Great Offshore Grounds is an unforgettable journey through a country full of malice and greed and beauty and grace…”—Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
“A magnificent beast of a novel. Utterly engrossing. Original. One of the rare novels that understands the realities of American poverty. Epic.”
—Roxane Gay via Goodreads
“I immediately fell in love with the phenomenal sisters at the heart of Vanessa Veselka’s supernova of a new novel, The Great Offshore Grounds. This novel is thrilling in its content, daring in heart, and makes a helix between a novel of ideas and the best damn story of women who forge their identities on their own terms that I’ve read in years.”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Verge
“The Great Offshore Grounds delivers on the promise Vanessa Veselka made with her excellent debut, Zazen. Large in scope and heart, Veselka skillfully illustrates human behaviors of every shade and iteration. She’s a specialist, a keen interpreter of our demented society, and an enviable storyteller. I’ve been waiting long years for this novel. It was worth the wait.”
—Patrick deWitt, author of French Exit
Available at your local independent bookstore, and also at these fine online establishments…